Pisgah Family Health News

September 2015

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Office News

Welcome Cassey Hughes


It is with great regret that we announce the retirement of our long-time receptionist, Kitty Curran. Kitty had worked with Pisgah Family Health for over 6 years. Kitty will be spending her new-found free time bicycling, gardening, and visiting her grandchildren.

Our new receptionist, Cassey Hughes, began working in August. Cassey is an Asheville native, who is completing her teaching degree at Mars Hill College. She enjoys reading, baking and taking care of her family. Her daughter is very active in sports. As a family, the Hughes love to go to movies, walk their dog, and travel.

Welcome Anna Goswick


Anna Goswick is a 3rd year medical student at UNC Chapel Hill. She will be training with Dr. Curran for 6 weeks, during the months of August and September. She completed her Bachelor's degree in neuroscience and exercise science at Regis University in Denver. When she is not studying, she enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Eleven Years of PFH

ZipLine (120K)

This summer we celebrated our 11th year serving the patients of Pisgah Family Health. We are proud and honored to continue to provide your medical care. This year's celebration included swinging from the trees near Saluda, with The Gorge Zip Lines.

Flu Shots


We now have our supply of 2015 quadrivalent and high-dose influenza vaccines! Pisgah Family Health will NOT hold a flu shot clinic this year. Instead, we will give flu shots to our patients on a walk-in basis, during our regular business hours. Please visit any time during the months of September through November to get your shot. Vaccinations can also be given at your regularly scheduled visit, but not when you have a fever.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. Infants and the elderly are at highest risk of influenza complications. Also at high risk are adults with asthma, COPD, heart conditions, or pregnancy.

Flu shots are most useful when given in October or November, to prevent the seasonal flu which occurs each winter. Also consider getting these routine vaccinations:

  • Pneumonia vaccine if you are over 65, or have asthma or COPD.
  • Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis) if you have not had it for 8 or more years.
  • Shingles vaccine if you are over 50.

Office Reminders

Have you and your family had your annual physical or wellness exams this year? Call to schedule!

Thank you for referring your family and friends to Pisgah Family Health. We are always eager for new business.

Please bring your insurance card to every visit, and present it when you check in. This ensures we have the most current insurance information for you.

Please notify our office if you have a new mailing address or phone number.

Bring your medication bottles to each visit. This will help us provide you the most accurate care.

Office Hours

Our office hours are 8:30-5pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 to 12 on Friday. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER.

On nights and weekends, Dr. Curran shares call with five other physicians. These doctors are all Board Certified in Family Medicine. We do not handle prescription refills after hours.

  • Pisgah Family Health will be closed Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day

Medical News

Sleep Deprivation can make you sick


Are you sleep deprived? If so, your chances of catching a cold may be significantly higher. According to a new study published in the journal Sleep, people who get six hours of sleep a night are four times as likely to develop a cold compared with those who get more shut-eye.

The study confirms previous research linking a lack of sleep with susceptibility to illness. "It goes beyond feeling groggy or irritable," Dr. Aric Prather, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco and lead author of the study, said in a news release. "Not getting enough sleep affects your physical health."

Prather and his team tracked the sleeping habits of 164 healthy adults, using a watch-like sensor to monitor duration and quality of sleep. A few weeks later, they administered a cold virus to the volunteers. Those who got six or fewer hours of sleep per night were 4.2 times more likely to develop a cold than those who got seven or more hours of sleep per night, while those who got less than five hours of sleep were 4.5 times more likely.

How many hours of sleep a person gets, the researchers found, was the most important factor in predicting who would catch the cold virus.

"Sleep goes beyond all the other factors that were measured," Prather said. "It didn't matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, education or income. It didn't matter if they were a smoker. With all those things taken into account, statistically sleep still carried the day and was an overwhelmingly strong predictor for susceptibility to the cold virus."

The CDC calls insufficient sleep a "public health epidemic" in the United States. While experts recommend that adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, 30 percent of Americans report getting fewer than six hours per night.

Source: http://www.uhc.com/
Reference: http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=30153

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which a person briefly stops breathing during sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea is usually is a chronic (long term) condition that disrupts sleep. Multiple pauses occur during sleep, causing the person to wake or almost wake up repeatedly. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Most people who have sleep apnea don't know they have it, because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or bed partner might be the first to notice signs of sleep apnea. The most common signs of sleep apnea are:

  • Heavy snoring
  • Startling or gasping during sleep
  • Waking up fatigued
  • Waking with a headache
  • Daytime sleepiness

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses.

When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. For example, small children who have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats may have obstructive sleep apnea.

There are several ways to diagnose sleep apnea.

  • First, discuss this problem with your doctor
  • A home overnight oxygen test may identify drops in blood oxygen that correspond to pauses in breathing.
  • A sleep lab study is the most definitive way to diagnose sleep apnea.

There are many treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea. The best treatment varies depending on the patient. Not all patients respond to all treatments.

  • Sleep posture matters - sleeping on your side or sitting up may improve apnea.
  • Nasal strips may open the nasal passage enough to improve sleep apnea.
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedating medications can improve sleep apnea.
  • Weight loss can improve and even cure sleep apnea.
  • Some patients benefit from surgery to the palate, reducing the obstructing tissue.
  • Most patients do well with CPAP, which is a mask providing positive airway pressure during sleep.

Source: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea
Other Resources: http://www.sleepapnea.org/

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, www.PisgahFamilyHealth.com/

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